Christmas Bird Count: Citizen Science in Action

The 113th Christmas Bird Count will take place from December 14, 2012 through January 5, 2013. The CBC is now FREE! Audubon will no longer charge the $5.00 fee to participants. In order to continue to fund the CBC program in the long term, Audubon is moving to a voluntary donation model.

Every year at this time, tens of thousands of volunteers across the country take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. For over one hundred years, the love of birds and the desire to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated families, students, birders and scientists to leave the comfort of a warm house during the holiday season. Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind, or rain armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use the data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations. From feeder-watchers and field observers to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count is making a difference.

Ever since the Christmas Bird Count began over a century ago, it has relied on the dedication and commitment of volunteer citizen scientists. In other words, it all starts with you! If you are a beginning birder, you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. In addition, if your home is within the boundaries of a Count Circle, then you can stay home and report the birds that visit your feeder. For more information and to find out how to join a CBC near you, see

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